Remaining Hopeful

“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Psalm 25:4-5 NIV)

Hope is such a key to my staying focused on the Lord. It is also one of God’s gifts that I can quickly lose sight of. How can I stray from the path where it lives? It seems to happen in the blink of a thought.

Yes, thoughts can rob me quickly. You all know those thoughts – fear of the future or fear of what the latest medical test will show or has shown. I rob the present of many joys, or at least peace, by jumping ahead of the Lord. Oh, how I hate it when I catch myself doing this. Yet, if these thoughts are not caught, they escalate and the feelings that accompany them do as well.

Like the psalmist, I plead for God to show me his ways and to teach me his paths. My hope is to be focused on God, not on tomorrow or on my circumstances. I must recognize any negative side trips from the path where he can teach me, by remembering that in all my days he has never forsaken me.

Some of my “tomorrows” did hold some harsh news. Yet, he was there to teach me how to keep walking with him through the rough times. I could not depend on my own strength or understanding. These were his deepest times of teaching me – an answer to this Psalm’s request.

Scripture tells us that there is faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love. I do not think my statement that hope is needed to keep me focused diminishes love. It is
God’s love that helps me to return to his path. My remembrance that he is my hope strengthens my faith. He beckons me to follow the triune pattern by putting all three gifts into their proper perspective — working as one as I stay hopeful in him.

Prayer: Lord, my deepest longing is that I stay steadfast as I hope in you and follow you, trusting you completely. Amen.

Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. She writes to encourage others as God has encouraged her during 26 years of living with daily physical challenges.